New York police officials said officers didn’t ignore an 11-year-old girl who was being attacked, after a local paper claimed officers stood by and watched the assault happen.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) released video footage that police said showed officers responding to the assault but unable to get to the scene because a group prevented them from moving.
“Despite one newspaper’s account, our officers who came to the assistance of an 11-year-old girl being assaulted in Harlem on Sunday did not stand by,” the NYPD said in a statement.
“They were met by a large crowd that hurled projectiles at them and had to reposition, then called for additional officers.”
The footage shows a group of about 12 officers standing on a street and the adjoining sidewalk. The officers begin to back up as bottles and other items are thrown at them by a crowd that appeared to be as large as 100.
The denial came after the New York Post published five pictures it said showed an 11-year-old girl being slapped, punched, kicked, and shocked with a stun gun by a group of five girls on Sunday night in the Harlem neighborhood.
The violence took place over approximately 4 minutes, the paper said, but police officers “sat idly in nearby cruisers” and didn’t get out until the girl was beaten.
Despite one newspaper’s account, our officers who came to the assistance of an 11-year-old girl being assaulted in Harlem on Sunday did not stand by. They were met by a large crowd that hurled projectiles at them and had to reposition, then called for additional officers. pic.twitter.com/aeZ1zNnqrJ
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) August 10, 2020
A photographer on the scene said he saw no bottles being thrown at police, according to the paper.
An NYPD spokesman told the Post that the claims were “completely inaccurate.”
“The officers were met by a large crowd while attempting to come to this person’s assistance. They were outnumbered. Projectiles were thrown at them. And they were forced to reposition and call every available resource in the area,” the spokesman said.
As in most large cities in the United States, the number of murders and shootings have spiked in New York City in recent months. The number of some other crimes have fallen, including grand larceny and rape.
New York lawmakers last month cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget and placed a number of new restrictions on police officers, along with revising laws pertaining to bail.
“It’s now going to make it impossible for police officers to overpower somebody without hurting them,” Robert Brown, a former NYPD captain who is now a criminal lawyer, told The Epoch Times. He was referring to a bill signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio on July 15 that says “no person shall restrain an individual in a manner that restricts the flow of air or blood by … sitting, kneeling, or standing on the chest or back in a manner that compresses the diaphragm, in the course of effecting or attempting to effect an arrest.”
Petr Svab contributed to this report.